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GCSE: Tess of the d'Urbervilles

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  1. How does Hardy interest and engage the reader of The Wessex Tales?

    It is vital for a cliffhanger ending to be successful; since we care about the characters we feel compelled to read on when the next issue was available. An example of a cliff-hanger used in Hardy's tales is clearly shown in The Withered Arm. Rhoda says: "O, can it be...that I exercise a malignant power over people against my own will?" This quotation leaves the reader under the impression that even Rhoda is questioning her own being of a witch; it also suggests that she has no control over the powers she possesses.

    • Word count: 2815
  2. Examine how Hardy uses setting to explore related themes and issues.

    She then travels with Alec to Sandbourne, an artificial "fairy place", where Tess turns into a mere play-thing of Alec - and finally Stonehenge, the pagan "heathen" temple where she is finally captured. Hardy gives us clear indications and clues as to what's going on in the book, and helps us understand it on different levels. We can usually tell how happy Tess is going to be in a particular place, just by an introductory descriptive paragraph. For example, "On a thyme-scented, bird-hatching morning in May...she left home for the second time", Hardy writes when Tess sets out for Talbothays.

    • Word count: 2212
  3. In many respects Tess is a victim of society, but what other factors contribute to her position at the end of the novel?

    This demonstrates the views of society at that time and the strict social hierarchy that existed. The fact that Tess has an illegitimate child, was heavily frowned upon in Victorian society. Most people at the time were devout Christians and women who became pregnant outside of marriage became social outcasts.In those days being a woman was harder than being a man. For example, if a man had sex outside marriage, it was generally accepted. However if a woman did the same thing, it was not accepted and would be a "black mark" on her.

    • Word count: 2053
  4. In this sequence, how is Alec D'Urberville made to seem like a villain?

    Tess assumes that he is a distant cousin, little does Tess know that Alec's family simply bought the title and had no connection with the name D'Urberville whatsoever. Alec is portrayed as a womaniser; Ian Sharp has decided to express this in a very particular way. (In 1998), when the film was made, the film makers were limited concerning technology, so Ian Sharp has used special techniques to make Jason Flemyng (who plays Alec) seem as he does. Ian Sharp has used a number of techniques to make this sequence what it is.

    • Word count: 2240
  5. Compare and Contras the presentation of Tess Durbeyfield in "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" and Sarah Woodruff in "The French Lieutenant's Woman"

    Sarah prefers to be a visible social pariah rather than one who attempts to reform and assimilate into society. It is evident to the reader that Fowles had obviously studies a lot of Victorian text to get an understanding of writing techniques of the time. For instance he packs as much detail of the landscape into the opening chapter as possible, with use of references to historical findings in the places; which is not his usual writing style, "redolent of seven hundred years of English history". Fowles uses incredibly long, tumbling sentences with as much detail to the setting as possible, "being that largest bite from the underside of England's outstretched south-western leg".

    • Word count: 2367
  6. An analysis of the significance of chapter 37, to the novel as a whole;

    The man recovered himself and seemed inclined to go further, but thought better of it. He apologised, claiming he thought Tess was another woman he knew. Further on in the chapter, Tess hears a disturbance in the attic above her, where Angel had retired. In her anxiety, Tess rushed upstairs in case Clare was ill, being confronted with a humorous tale, that Clare had been rein-acting the fight he had earlier on that day. He mentioned that he has been occasionally liable to these 'freaks' in his sleep, and told Tess she should not be worried and think no more of it.

    • Word count: 2838
  7. "The president of the Immortals had done his sport with Tess"

    Hardy proposes that maybe her innocence and purity comes from her lack of experience with people, love and danger. This can be seen when she is exposed to new and different environments and forces. Hardy also introduces class and status very early on, Tess comes from a lower class yet she can make herself seem in a higher status due to her education. Tess's first encounter of bad luck is when she kills the family horse, Prince. Tess is with her brother Abraham in their wagon whilst discussing about the stars and how they are worlds just like Earth.

    • Word count: 2084
  8. Thomas Hardy Said His Subtitle 'A Pure Woman' Caused More Debate Than Anything Else. In 'Tess Of The D'Urbervilles' How Far Do You Agree With Hardy's Subtitle A Pure Women? Examine The First Part Of The Novel.

    In the Victorian times there were three classes. The Masses, the Nouveax Riches, and the Landed Gentry. The Masses were the poor working class, the Nouveax Riches were the people who worked in factory's In the city they get the new money and that is were the name came from, they were hated by the Landed Gentry because they were almost the same standard as them, the Landed Gentry were the rich people who didn't work but got their money from their ancestors (old money). Tess a young cottage girl 'she was a fine and handsome girl...

    • Word count: 2715
  9. Tess and the color red. (Hardy)

    For the first approach, gather evidence from the novel about how Hardy sees nature. Remember to include his vision of nature as the core of all life, and his view of man as a small part of the universe. Also discuss how life goes on, following its natural rhythms, regardless of what happens to individuals. Consider nature both as a friend to man, as at Talbothays, and as a foe to man, as at Flintcomb-Ash. If you wish to write about nature as a reflection of human perception, you'll have to take a careful look at how the characters see the landscape.

    • Word count: 2216
  10. "In her relations with both Alec and Angel, Tess is the victim of her own conscience rather than of male cruelty and censure". Comment on this view of Hardy's portrayal of Tess and her fate in Tess Of The D'Urbervilles.

    I would like to look at the word realist, according to the 'York Notes advanced': "a realist author represents the world as it is rather than as it should be", and "draws on characters from all levels of society, but often from lowest classes, represents their speech and manners accurately". I therefor object to the theory posted by others that Hardy's books are pessimistic, as the above description of a 'realist' perfectly describes Hardy's works in "Tess of the D'Urbervilles", which is also contradictory to the belief of "York Notes Advanced".

    • Word count: 2176
  11. Contrast the descriptions of Flint comb - Ash and Talbothays, showing How Hardy uses the atmosphere places to reflect different stages in Tess's life.

    Immediately we are able to see that Tess has something that none of the other girls have, "She wore a red ribbon in her hair" and her "large innocent eyes added eloquence to her colour and shape". She is illustrated as "a fine picturesque country girl". We are left with the impression of rustic beauty with a hidden, or perhaps not hidden, sense of passion. Tess was born in the village of Marlott, located in the Vale of Blackmoor. "This fertile and sheltered tract of country, in which the fields are never brown and the springs never dry....

    • Word count: 2858
  12. Analyse Hardy's intentions in the way he presents the themes of innocence and rural life in 'Phase One - The Maiden' of "Tess of the d'Urbervilles".

    to eat, or could identify with their attitudes; nor could he entirely fit in with the upper classes as he did not share their ideals and values and was unable to successfully adopt their outlook on society. These feelings of frustration due to his inability to belong reflect in the opening chapter of the novel. Thomas Hardy begins the second chapter of "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" with a rich, detailed description of the landscape that provides the setting of the novel; this helps establish the surroundings in which the events of the book take place; 'the world seems to be constructed upon a smaller and more delicate scale'.

    • Word count: 2496
  13. Compare and contrast the depictions of financial insecurity and its effects in Tess of the D'Urbervilles and at least one other novel that you have studied.

    In Tess of the D'Urbervilles, there is a sense that, not only the Durbeyfield family, but most of the local young women, are anxious to escape their poverty and low social stature. Mr Durbeyfield feels immediately uplifted upon hearing the news that he is descended from a noble family and becomes captivated in a dream that delivers him from rags to riches - "Don't you really know, Durbeyfield, that you are the lineal representative of the ancient and knightly family of the d'Urbervilles .

    • Word count: 2240
  14. Who was most to blame for the outcome of "On the Western Circuit?

    The story starts when Raye meets Anna at the steam fair, and they start to have a relationship together. Anna's older mistress, Edith Harnham, falls in love with Raye, without him realising, when their hands accidentally touch at the fair. Edith longs for Raye, although she knows that because she is married, and so much older than him, they could never be lovers. Raye returns to his work place in London wishing only to keep contact with Anna through letters, and the occasional visit to her when he is on the Western Circuit.

    • Word count: 2461
  15. Show how two authors, writing in two different centuries, deal with a similar theme - Thomas Hardy and Eudora Welty.

    Despite this people were more courteous to one another than in modern day era. Eudora Welty, on the other hand was born in 1909 some sixty years after Hardy was born. Welty was born in Jacksonville, Mississippi in the USA and is still alive now, she therefore lived in a totally different era and therefore approached the context of her story in a totally different way to that of someone like Thomas Hardy who died only a few years earlier. Another factor about the different contexts of the stories is where both stories are taking place.

    • Word count: 2365
  16. Analyse Hardy’s use of symbolism and rustic characters in Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

    He spent the rest of his career writing poetry; though he is remembered mostly for his novels today. In this novel, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy uses a lot of symbolism to add moods to the storyline. He uses colour, nature and metaphors to symbolise thoughts, feelings, past, present and future. He writes about the role of rustic characters and their influence on Tess. He maintained his influences as he grew up surrounded by nature and rustic life. Hardy makes Tess seem superior to the ordinary country folk, as everything Tess does is always slightly better than them, although Hardy makes the country folk seem very kind and friendly.

    • Word count: 2406
  17. How important is the use of irony in Thomas Hardy's poetry and in his novel 'The Mayor of Casterbridge'?

    Trevor Johnson has described Hardy as believing "Life... was a walk on a razor-edge, love and happiness were accordingly infinitely precarious yet infinitely worthwhile"3. There is irony in that to lead a secure life, free from danger, one also has to live without happiness; Hardy's The Darkling Thrush can be interpreted in a way reflecting this belief. The "full-hearted evensong of joy" is something Hardy cannot appreciate, being "unaware" of the "hope" the thrush sings of. The poem seems to imply that the only way to avoid pain is to live in a state of 'unhope'.

    • Word count: 2202
  18. An analysis of the ways in which Thomas Hardy creates suspense in Chapter 56 of “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” with reference to Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart”.

    Chapter 56 begins with Alec and Tess staying in a hotel. Having persuaded to Tess to live with Alec again, Tess seems forced into being with Alec, She knows he's an evil person and his character is portrayed as a stereotypical bad person or evil person in the story. Although she knows she can have a respectable life if she stays with him. This section starts in a 3rd person view because instead of getting the main characters we get to find out what the landlady of the hotel, Mrs Brooks is doing.

    • Word count: 2046
  19. 'In Tess of the D'Urbervilles Tess's passive temperament and fatalistic view of life make her, to a large extent the author of her own misfortunes.'How far do you agree with this statement about Tess's character and role in the novel?

    If Tess had a responsible father he would have been able to take the beehives to Casterbridge and Tess wouldn't have been obliged to. Joan is also partly to blame for Tess's first misfortune. When Joan goes to get Jack from Rolliver's she has no intention of bringing him home early so he would be able to take the beehives: "To discover him at Rolliver's, to sit there for an hour or two by his side an dismiss all thought and care of her children during the interval, made her happy."

    • Word count: 2059
  20. Tess of the d'Urbevilles: by Thomas Hardy

    Hardy is leading us to feel sympathy for Tess by using her attractiveness and personal qualities. From the first scene in which we meet Tess, Hardy leads us to feel sympathy for her by giving the impression that we (as readers) are slightly overlooking Tess; a place in which this technique is used is whilst Hardy is describing the effects of her appearance on others. Hardy describes the more extraordinary features of Tess' appearance: 'Phases of her childhood lurked in her aspect still...you could sometimes see her twelfth year in her cheeks, or her ninth sparkling from her eyes)

    • Word count: 2057
  21. For many years, much of society has been sexist and today there are still individuals, certain religions and races who discriminate against women and other females in general. "A women's place is in the home."

    These groups of people travelled to America to escape oppression and harsh governments. When they arrived, they believed America was the New Jerusalem, the 'Promised Land'. In Greek mythology, there was a myth that a land like this existed in the West. It was said to immense wealth, peace and prosperity. When the pilgrims and puritans arrived in America, they wanted to ensure that it was a hyric system, where everyone was equal. The Statue of Liberty was presented to the USA in 1884 by France to celebrate the alliance between the two countries over 100 years.

    • Word count: 2347
  22. Explore the ways in which Hardy has tried to make You sympathetic for these two female Characters

    'The fragment of lawn in front', I think is saying how much control she's got left in the world. When it says 'she's looking through the railings at the ever flowing traffic ', to me is saying that her home is like a prison she cant go any where, the railings symbolising bars, and all she can do is look onto the present world. Compared to the description of her old life its hell. The move from country to the drabness of the town is done to idealise the countryside. This makes you sympathetic towards Sophy as she makes one mistake in her life and everything goes wrong, you know she's going to have a very bad life.

    • Word count: 2580
  23. Essay to compare how the theme of tragedy is portrayed in Daphne du Maurier's 'Jamaica Inn' with Thomas Hardy's 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles'

    Daphne du Maurier (1907-1989), an English novelist, biographer and playwright, published romantic suspense novels, such as 'Jamaica Inn'. Du Maurier, born in London, came from an artistic family. Her uncle, a magazine editor, published one of her stories when she was a teenager and found her a literary agent, which was her first step to becoming a novelist. In 1935, when Daphne du Maurier wrote the novel 'Jamaica Inn' the First World War had been over for a while and the Second World War had not taken place yet.

    • Word count: 2472
  24. Grace Notes And Tess of the D´Urbervilles - Contrasting Similarity - Society’s Effect on Single Mothers

    Catherine McKenna, the protagonist of Bernard MacLaverty's third novel, Grace Notes, is a young female composer who, in the course of the book, performs two creative acts: she gives birth to a daughter, and she completes her first major symphonic work. Catherine struggles to come to terms with her artistic gift, the challenges of motherhood, and the pain of an abusive relationship, all while battling a debilitating post-natal depression. Despite this serious subject matter, Grace Notes comes as close as any of MacLaverty's novels to having an upbeat ending.

    • Word count: 2994
  25. Changing feelings about the heroine in the books Bridget Jones's Diary and Tess of the D'Urbervilles

    This is especially evident when her younger brother, Abraham is talking to her. I think that Tess is slightly idealised at the beginning of the book, as no negative views about Tess's character are expressed. '...Her mobile peony mouth and large innocent eyes added eloquence to colour and shape...' Bridget Jones is presented as a more realistic character at the beginning of the book. She is more independant than Tess, as she lives alone and is older. She sounds more genuine as Fielding has written the book in diary form, so that the reader knows what Bridget is feeling.

    • Word count: 2719

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Discuss how the two writers engage the Reader’s interest in their short stories.

    "In conclusion both Hardy and Lively use a variety of techniques to engage the reader into their short stories. I found both very good and thoroughly enjoyed them. The first time I read them both, I preferred The Darkness Out There. However, after reading them more thoroughly, I preferred Old Mrs Chundle. I loved the way Hardy threw in little words and sentences that didn't seem like much but really had great impact on the story. For example "brushed the knees of his trousers, and walked off." Both authors are very effective in engaging the reader."

  • Compare and contrast the novels

    "In conclusion, coming from different eras, one might not expect Hardy and Doherty's main moral messages to be the same. Most are however, and the two writers are in agreement as they say that both mother could have and would have survived with a baby in their worlds, had it not been for the attitudes of the people close to them. Indeed, Helen does survive, with Amy becoming "a fine thread being drawn through a garment, mending tears." Hardy also makes it clear that Tess would have had a wonderful new life with Angel, had his timing been different. So, although both pointing out the sometimes terrible consequences of having a baby without a husband, neither writer condemns it. Rather they condemn society for exacerbating the inevitable struggle of being a single mother."

  • To what extent are the outcomes of 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles' and Anouilh's 'Antigone' attributable in each case to the personality of the heroine?

    "In conclusion, I think that the personalities of the eponymous heroines contributed intensely to their outcome as in the case of Tess, she was too proud to make Angel to stay so she had to return to Alec, and in desperation ended up murdering him. Whereas in the case of Antigone, she defied an edict laid down by the king in belief that she was doing the right thing and even when offered a way out, she refused out of pride, proving she was willing to die for what she believed in. If these characters weren't so proud or independent, then it is most likely that neither of them would have had to face death so early on. If Tess hadn't been so proud, she might never have needed to tell Angel of her seduction and so could have lived a long happy life with him. If Antigone hadn't had been so haughty in the thought that she must die for burying her brother, instead of being willing to brush it under the carpet she could have lived a contented life with her fianc�e. Overall, I think that although the characters had their differences, the traits in their personalities of being too proud definitely caused their downfall. Joanna Lowe Page 1 5/4/2007"

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